Travel Updates

Big Sur is Open!

You might have seen the Mud Creek slide in the news lately – good news, Big Sur is still accessible!

While winter storms have impacted a portion of Highway 1, the breathtaking beauty of Big Sur and the Central Coast is open and beckons you with unparalleled natural scenery. Some parts of the highway are not yet passable, but many scenic attractions and friendly businesses are open and ready to welcome you!

To make the most of your experience, please prepare for your trip by taking note of the travel updates below and view the list of open attractions and businesses in northern Big Sur and southern Big Sur.

The northern section of Highway 1 from the Monterey Peninsula into Big Sur is now OPEN, as of March 14, 2017. Hotels, restaurants and shops north of Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge (including Big Sur Village) are ready to welcome you and invite you to experience authentic Big Sur charm. Gas up the tank and take in the sights while you enjoy the coastline all the way until the Big Sur Ranger Station. Stop for a bite to eat and enjoy a sunset that’s unforgettable!

Partial access to southern Big Sur via Nacimiento-Fergusson Road from Highway 101 from Limekiln State Park to Gorda is now OPEN, as of March 20, 2017. Note: Visitors are encouraged to exercise caution when driving along Nacimiento-Fergusson Road as it is narrow and very windy and should only be traveled during daylight hours. Been on the road to Hana? Then you have an idea of what’s in store on this road trip. And like Hana, the final destination is so worth the drive!

Big Sur businesses north of Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge are open and accessible, but there is no through route available. Estimated completion date of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge is September 30, 2017. Please note, until further notice there is a hard closure of Highway 1 at the Big Sur Ranger Station before Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge.

Ensuring that our visitors are safe and that their trip is unforgettable are our top priorities, which is why we continue to work diligently in sharing information from state and local agencies as they provide updates on conditions in Highway 1 and Big Sur.

For more details, please see the map and list of road closures below.

Road Closures

  • Highway 1 in Big Sur
    • Closed at Big Sur Ranger Station before Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge. Motorists must not get within 100 feet of either side of the bridge.
    • The last turnaround is at Big Sur Ranger Station. Due to potential traffic, we encourage visitors to turn around after reaching their destinations.
  • Please visit QuickMaps for updates

Please check the CalTrans website and the Monterey County Public Works website for the latest road closures.

Turn Around Locations

For visitors planning to travel to Big Sur, we encourage you to stay alert and be mindful and respectful to CHP, Caltrans and other public service and safety workers who are continuing to restore the destination after the winter weather impacts. Please use turnouts, legal parking areas and pull over when appropriate.

  • Guests traveling in a large bus or RV are able to turn around at Big Sur Campground & Cabins or Fernwood Resort.
  • The MCCVB encourages visitors to help reduce any traffic congestion by avoiding traveling south from their destination. The furthest south visitors will be able to access is Big Sur Ranger Station where they will be turned around and directed north.

Travel Tips

Visitors from Northern California and the Monterey Peninsula can take Highway 1 south all the way to Big Sur until the Big Sur Ranger Station, just before the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge. At that point, visitors will be turned around to take Highway 1 north to Highway 68 where they will be able to access Highway 101 to drive south to Los Angeles.

Below are few great things to see and do on the Highway 101 detour:

Helpful travel planning documents:

While businesses in the northern section of Big Sur are open and some businesses are open in the southern section of Big Sur, we encourage visitors to call ahead to ensure a smooth arrival experience. Most businesses south of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge remain closed for the time being, as Highway 1 remains closed from the south while road work continues.

Exploring the southern part of Big Sur

For visitors looking to camp or access a portion of the southern section of Big Sur, Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is open and accessible from Highway 101. Visitors are encouraged to exercise caution when driving along Nacimiento-Fergusson Road as it is narrow and very windy and should only be traveled during daylight hours. While the road is paved and maintained, RVs and heavy vehicles are not recommended. It is also a remote road with no cell service, gas stations or other public services.  

A limited number of businesses and attractions are open along the southern portion of Highway 1. Most businesses south of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge remain closed until later this spring/summer.

Open businesses and parks include, but are not limited to:

  • Local Campgrounds (guests must bring their own food and water as there are no restaurants on the campground properties)
  • Treebones Resort
  • Sand Dollar Beach
  • Mill Creek Day Use Area
  • Willow Creek Day Use Area
  • Post Ranch Inn
  • Nepenthe

If you are in the area and have any questions on the closures, please visit our Monterey Visitors Center at Lake El Estero Park (401 Camino El Estero, Monterey, CA).

Park Conditions

Please note the current conditions for Monterey County Parks:

  • Garrapata State Park: Lands west of Highway 1 are open, with the exception of Gates 8 and 9
  • Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is open
  • Point Sur Light Station Historic State Park is open
  • Limekiln State Park is open
  • Sand Dollar Beach is open
  • Elkhorn Road is closed SOUTH of the Elkhorn Slough Reserve. Click here to plan your alternate route.
  • Andrew Molera State Park is closed until further notice
  • Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is closed until further notice
  • Limekiln State Park is open
  • Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is open for camping (limited use). Main Camp campsites 131-189 will be open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis with a 7-day maximum. Day use lots 1 & 2, along with the picnic areas and restrooms adjacent to these lots will be open. Trails that are open to the public include: Redwood Deck, Nature Trail, River Trail, Warden’s Cottage Trail, Liewald Flat Trail
  • Please click the links below for updates:

For more information and updates on current conditions, please call the California State Parks Big Sur Sector Office at (831) 667-1112 or the Big Sur Station at (831) 667-2315. Check the CalTrans website for up-to-date road conditions on Highway 1.

Fire Restrictions

Please take note of fire restrictions enforced at local parks and campgrounds. For more info click here.

The following restrictions are currently in effect:

  • No open fires, campfires or charcoal fires will be permitted outside of developed recreation sites or designated Campfire Use Sites (list attached), even with a valid California Campfire Permit. Lanterns and portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel will be permitted, but only with a valid California Campfire Permit, which are available free-of-charge on the Forest website and at any Forest Service office. Forest visitors must clear all flammable material for five feet in all directions from their camp stove, have a shovel available, and ensure that a responsible person attends the stove at all times during use.
  • Smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or a designated Campfire Use Site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
  • Internal combustion engines may be operated only on roads or designated trails. This restriction is in effect year-round. Please make sure your engine is tuned, operating properly, and has an approved spark arrester.

For a list of Developed Recreation Sites and Campfire Use Sites in Los Padres National Forest, or further information regarding Fire-Safe Camping, visit or contact the Forest Service district office nearest you.

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